CALGARY — A chuckwagon horse was euthanized by a veterinarian after it was injured following the fifth heat of the Rangeland Derby at the Calgary Stampede on Sunday evening.
The horse was part of Roger Moore’s rig and was immediately assessed after it sustained an injury just after the race wrapped up.
“It was a big loss for me last night because any time you can lose one of those it’s like, for me, basically, losing a family member,” Moore told CTV Calgary on Monday. “I’m close to these horses and spend more time with them than I do with my own family.”
Stampede officials said the horse did not get tangled and there was no collision on the track. They said this type of fracture is common to thoroughbreds in the racing industry.
No animals died or were seriously injured during the Calgary Stampede last year, something officials attributed to changes that were made to the track and to barrel positions for the chuckwagon races.
In 2015, four horses had died during the chuckwagon races.
The Vancouver Humane Society has called the Calgary Stampede “a spectacle of animal abuse” and has said of 19 fatalities since 2010, 17 were chuckwagon horses.
“Nearly every year horses die in this race, which clearly puts them at undue risk of injury and death,” said VHS spokesman Peter Fricker in a statement to CTV News on Monday. “The Stampede has failed to stop horses dying and the public should let them know this is unacceptable.”
“We do our best to prevent all injuries,” said Mike Piper, chairman of the chuckwagon committee for the Stampede.
“Nobody ever wants to lose an animal anywhere on Stampede Park, that’s obviously not our goal. I’d love to prevent everything, it’s no different than a football player sustaining a concussion who’s wearing a helmet.”
The Canadian Press